Il ya a, c'est and ce sont

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Paul

Kwiziq community member

13 January 2018

5 replies

Il ya a, c'est and ce sont

Hello, I am having difficulty when to use Il ya a, c'est and ce sont. Is there a resource on Kwiziq that can teach me the right way to use these alternatives?

This relates to:
Il y a = There is, There are -

Chris

Kwiziq community member

14 January 2018

14/01/18

Ok, let's take "il y a" first. It means simply "there is/are" in the sense of that it exists or is present. For example: "Il y a de grandes montagnes en Autriche" -- "There are big mountains in Austria." "C'est/ce sont" means "it is/they are". In this context "ce" is immutable and will never be "ces". "Ces" is a demonstrative pronoun and belongs to the family "ces, celles, ceux". It always needs a noun and is matched in number and gender to it. Ce ne sont que des enfants -- They are only children. Ces enfants se comportent bien. -- These children behave well. Il y a des pommes fraîches? -- Are there fresh apples? Ce sont des pommes fraîches. -- These are fresh apples. Ces pommes sont fraîches. -- These apples are fresh. Does this make it any clearer? -- Chris (not a native speaker).

Paul

Kwiziq community member

14 January 2018

14/01/18

Thanks for your help Chris. Rewriting your answer without the discussion of "ces" I get: "il y a" ... means simply "there is/are" in the sense of that it exists or is present. For example: "Il y a de grandes montagnes en Autriche" -- "There are big mountains in Austria." "C'est/ce sont" means "it is/they are"...(and these are).... Ce ne sont que des enfants -- They are only children. Il y a des pommes fraîches? -- Are there fresh apples? Ce sont des pommes fraîches. -- These are fresh apples. So, if I understand correctly: Ce sont des enfants - These/They are children Il y a des enfants - There are children.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

15 January 2018

15/01/18

Yes, correct. Only "They are children" woukd be "Ils sont des enfants." Otherwise you surmise correctly. -- Chris.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

4 September 2018

4/09/18

Just a correction to Chris' excellent answer you cannot say:

"Ils sont des enfants" always "Ce sont des enfants".

In the same way as,

"C'est Marie " and not "Elle est Marie" or

"C'est mon frère" and not "Il est mon frère"

Hope this helps!

Paul

Kwiziq community member

4 September 2018

4/09/18

Thank you Cécile and Chris.

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